Revelation – Interpreting the Old Testament Prophecies [Intro]

All Scripture quotations are from the 1901 American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

In preparation for our commentary on the book of Revelation, we’ve learned the following up to this point:

  • Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father where He sits on His throne as King and Priest. Thus the Kingdom of Christ is both now and will continue into the Eternal Kingdom of the New Heavens and the New Earth.

  • The New Testament neither teaches a literal 1000 year Jewish kingdom, nor does it even make room for it between Christ’s return and the Eternal Kingdom.

  • Israel has its fulfillment in Christ and the Church. Jesus Himself is True Israel. The Church is the spiritual continuation of national Israel, not their replacement.

  • The Church is the Kingdom of Christ, and extends throughout the Church Age up to the time of His return.

  • The Resurrection and Rapture and Judgment occur at the time of Christ’s return when He defeats all His enemies, including death. At which time we go into the Eternal Kingdom.

In light what the Bible reveals about these matters, we must conclude that the Premillennial position on prophecy cannot be correct. Premillennialism requires one to interpret the New Testament according to the Old Testament. It requires one to make assumptions, and to force ideas into NT texts in order to get them to comply with the Premillennial position. I’ve pointed this out over and over throughout this Revelation series.

The question at hand, and the challenge we face now, is how do we interpret the Old Testament prophecies? This is a valid and understandable question, because so many OT prophecies seem to indicate that God still has a plan for the nation of Israel.

However, since the New Testament doesn’t teach the continuation of national Israel, and since it doesn’t allow for a millennial kingdom, we have no alternative but to view the prophecies of the OT as poetic, and figurative for the Church. This should be expected since the book of Revelation is also characterized by figurative or symbolic language. In regard to the land promises to Israel, I believe those have the Eternal Kingdom in view.

To Premillennialists, to view the OT prophecies regarding Israel as figurative, rather than literal, is highly objectionable. However, I think it’s highly objectionable to view those prophecies as literal when the NT overwhelmingly prohibits such an approach.

We absolutely must allow the NT to interpret the OT. I believe it’s a serious mistake not to. With that in mind, in this series we will examine several OT passages that are commonly used by Premillennialists to support their position of a separate (from the Church) latter day plan for national Israel, which primarily has a literal 1000 year kingdom in view.